Aston Villa summer signing Leon Bailey may struggle to establish himself in the starting line-up in the coming weeks, according to journalist Luke Hatfield.
What's the latest news involving Bailey?
Bailey moved to Villa from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee in the region of £28.8m, making him the third-most expensive signing in the club's history.
However, he has not started any of the side's opening four league games this term, and has been limited to just two cameo appearances off the bench, which came in defeats to Watford and Chelsea.
What has Hatfield said about Bailey?
Hatfield has been impressed by what he has seen from Bailey so far, and believes that the Jamaican international already has the fans on side, but has his doubts about where the 24-year-old fits into Dean Smith's system.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think we’ve seen from his performances off the bench that he is incredibly bright going forward. He’s looked one of the sharpest players for Villa going forward when he’s come off the bench. And I think fans are desperate to see him in from the off.
"The issue you’ve got is: where do you fit him in? Because Villa have got Emi Buendia coming back as well.”
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Can Bailey force his way into Villa's starting line-up?
The problem is that Smith has so many forward options at his disposal, meaning that some players will have to be left settling for a place on the bench. Thus far this season, Bailey has been one of those having to bide his time to make his mark.
In the team's most recent clash with Chelsea, Villa played a 3-5-2 formation, with Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins up front. Given that Bailey is a winger, this setup does not suit him at all, and if Smith persists with it, he may find it hard to break into the side any time soon.
However, if Smith returns to the 4-2-3-1 system that has served him well in recent years, Bailey could begin to get more opportunities to start games.
Given that Emiliano Buendia shone in the Championship for Norwich last season, and cost Villa over £30m this summer, it seems likely that he has one of the wing positions wrapped up. Yet Bailey may fancy his chances of moving ahead of Anwar El Ghazi in the pecking order on the opposite flank, and finally showing exactly what he is capable of.News Now - Sport News